Opinion Polls: When Royalty Still Have Value

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When Royalty Still Have Value and Now:

By: Johnson .O. Da-Silva.

Da-Silva .O. Johnson

 

I was born into royalty as my father was an elder brother to the immediate past King of my town, Iloro Ekiti, His Royal Highness, Oba Ayoola Arowolo the second, the Oluloro of Iloro Ekiti.

 

With my proximity to the late King, I studied royalty as he kept talking to me about it when he was alive and during his reign. Sometimes, he tells me to sit with him when he meets with his chiefs and when cases are been judged in the palace. The only thing I wasn’t doing then was sleeping in the palace. No, I sleep in the family house. However, I knew about few things such as lives of royalty, culture and others even as young as I was.

From Left: King Attah, Queen Elizabeth II and King Attah again.

 

As at then, my uncle and invariably ‘my Dad’ was the Secretary of the Council of Obas in the entire Ondo State (Both Ondo and Ekiti were together then) and I was aware of His highness’ Conducts, Responsibilities and Authority. It was special and more interesting to be a king then than now.

The subjects respects, honour and fear the king and members of his family.  They have government ears and can actually be a spectacle to the people when they are in the public. They treated like the gods.

Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses are special individuals from royalty and in every kingdom, they are supreme and others are subjects to them. They enjoy power and authority so much that there words and actions are final. They are unquestionable.

An Oba in yoruba land are taken to be next to God and the exact reason Yoruba eulogies to the king include a phrase ‘ Alase Ekeji Osa’. Meaning a man with authority and next to the gods.

Queen Elizabeth middle

In those days, Governors and Government Officials pay homage to the rulers irrespective of ranks. Even foreigners won’t dare enter a kingdom without paying homage to the king. Later, politics set in and some politicians began to dare the law and seize the opportunities of installing royalties and paying allowances to the kings and traditional rulers which begins the act of looking down on royalty but few kings then aware that kingship is chosen by the oracle or inheritance and not by government appointment or election by the people stood up and fought for their rights to retain their honours. Few of them shall be mentioned shortly.

 

OBA ADEMUAGUN VS PREMIER OBAFEMI AWOLOWO

Oba Ademuagun was installed as Deji on the 28th October, 1957. In the same year 1957 he was inducted into the Western House of Chiefs which we know as “Ipade Lobaloba”

The incident happened during the very first meeting he attended. All selected Obas in the region attended the meeting with Chief Obafemi Awolowo who was then the Premier of the Western Region. In Ondo province, only five(5) Obas attended the meeting namely; Deji of Akure land, Olowo of Owo, Osemawe of Ondo, Ewi of Ado and Elekole of Ikole.

At the meeting, all the Obas were already seated before Awolowo walked in majestically in his usual way. Immediately he arrived, all the Obas stood up except Oba Ademuagun, Ekun oko Eyesorun. The other Obas were surprised, seeing this new and young Oba from Akure seated when Awolowo came in. Awolowo himself was surprised and asked who he was and he replied, “I am the Deji of Akureland, Ademuagun Adesida II.”

Awolowo queried his audacity, and Oba Ademuagun responded, “was it polite seeing the likes of Kabiesi Adesoji Aderemi or Alaafin Ladigbolu, who are older than us, standing up for you while you walk in. In London where we both studied law, have you ever heard that someone walked in and the Queen stood up. In fact Queen will enter a venue last. Even if Nigeria system of government is different from theirs, respects must be given to whom it is due. We here, inherited our father’s stool and it’s only death that can remove us but you, your time on this seat will soon lapse. You got there by thumb and through thumb you shall be removed. Me, Ademuagun will never stand up for you.”

Chief Obafemi Awolowo

 

He asked those Obas including Oba Akenzua of Benin, to get back to their seats but they couldn’t. They were just watching the drama. A serious altercation ensued, after which Oba Ademuagun had to remove his cap(crown), handed it to Awolowo and dared him to put it on if he could so as to prove he deserves the respect he demanded from him. The other Obas took it from Awolowo and before they could turn back Oba Ademuagun had left the venue. Thanks to Olodumare that some omodeowas followed him to the meeting, they had to retrieve the crown and ran after him. The feud between both Icons was later settled here in Akure by Dr Nnamdi Azikwe after many years

He exercised his bravery before Awolowo, maybe because he was a lawyer who knows law like him

Olori Asake Adebola Adesida, the then Eyesorun witnessed this and Regent Adesida Adebusola Alice confirmed it

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KING ATTAH AMEH OBONI vs QUEEN ELIZABETH II.

King Attah Ameh Oboni of Igala land who refused to bow to Queen Elizabeth II is the next example to be considered.

There was a meeting in Kaduna and many traditional rulers were in attendance. The Queen was also present. While the other kings removed their caps as they greeted the Queen, Attah was reluctant to do so. Unlike others, he could not remove his cap in public, neither could he shake the Queen’s hands. He was later forced to remove his cap and as soon as he removed the cap, hundreds of bees took over the hall and many were stung.

 

Due to the insult and embarrassment cause by the incident,  King Attah was arrested and hand-curved but the chain fell off. He was locked in a room but had disappeared when the room was opened and later, when he was sent a message that would lead to his humiliation, he committed suicide with pride that it was better than accept humiliation.

An Anambra Traditional Rulers

 

OLUWO OF IWO vs OLUSEGUN OBASANJO and SEYI MAKINDE.

Just on Friday, Former Head of State, Retired General Olusegun Obasanjo in an event in Oyo State rebuked the Traditional Rulers for not standing up in recognition of Governor Seyi Makinde and himself as a mark of honor as the office of the Governor is an exalted position that should not be undermined and the response of His Royal Highness, the Oluwo of Iwo land, Oba Abdulracheed Akanbi was that Obasanjo insulted and desecrated the tradition of Yoruba land for rebuking the monarchs.

 

There are also cases where Kings are dethroned and removed by political office holders because the Constitution appeared not to protect the monarchs where it provides they can be sanctioned if they erred but the manner in which its been done recently, the traditional rulers can be intimidated and humiliated at will especially by Governors.

 

SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI vs ABDULLAHI UMAR GANDOJE

Recall that one of Nigeria’s prominent figures and former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was humiliated in like manner for speaking up against the state. Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in March 2020, dethroned the embattled Sanusi over what was called disrespect to lawful instructions from Government of Kano State and other lawful authorities.

Sinusi Lamido as the Emir of Kano before he was removed

 

ANAMBRA GOVERNOR vs 3 TRADITIONAL RULERS

In 2021, Anambra State Governor dethroned three traditional rulers and withdrew their Certificate of Recognition. The sacked monarchs were said to be among the 12 rulers suspended in the state for visiting Abuja to see President Muhammadu Buhari without the state government’s approval.Government involvement with traditional affairs should have been that of regulations and provisions. Regulation in terms of anyone going beyond limit, refusing to let go barbaric and premitive traditions and practices as agreed in that kingdom and provision in terms of allowances and dividends of democracy. 

When it comes to removal, this should be according to the law or the provision of that kingdom or community in regard to removal because the way it is going, the sacred office of the king is been abased gradually and shortly from now, the glory would be totally gone.

Anambra Traditional Rulers

 

The Obas have been in charge of their kingdom though with so much power but their people respect and believe in them above any politician. They have their ways of managing their affairs, governing their communities, handling their security and managing conflict.  If the value is watered down, no Governor would be able to satisfy the traditional values they knew nothing about.

 

Political office holders wont stay in office beyond 8years but a Monarch can be in office until death depending on their community injunctions and laws. Governors , Presidents etc should have stayed away from using the traditional of the people to settle scores and witch-hunt any opposition. Royalty is sacred and should be left so.

In addition,  traditional rulers should also behave where they are allowed a free hand. Avoid power intoxication and abuse of office. Do the right things and help your subjects because when royalty still have values, the people are happy. Where this is lacking, the law can be applied and in some communities,  there are kingmakers who can also engage necessary practice of removal when necessary.

This is : Opinion Polls with Da-Silva.

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